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A Future For Showplace Farms?

Published: August 17, 2015 8:42 pm ET

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Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton are leading an effort to save Showplace Farms, which announced it will be closing on October 1.

The facility covers over 150 acres in Millstone Township, and includes racetracks, a therapy swimming pool, paddocks and a blacksmith shop. Showcase Farms opened in 1979 and has been the venue for many of the nation’s most successful race horses and trainers. Dancer and Clifton both represent Millstone Township.

“Ron Dancer and I began discussing the future of Showplace Farms as soon as word came out that it would be closing,” said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, which represents New Jersey’s standardbred horsemen. “We have been exploring a variety of options, with the objective of maintaining the training center, which provides critical stabling and jobs for New Jersey’s horsemen. The loss of Showplace Farms would be a setback to those of us in racing but also to the rural character of Millstone Township and the surrounding community. The SBOANJ will do whatever it can to assist Assemblymen Dancer and Clifton, Howard Schoor and all the others working to preserve Showplace.

“Every effort must be made to preserve Showplace Farms for open space and maintain its beautiful landscape,” said Dancer. “We are not only losing over 100 jobs with the Farms’ closing and the relocation of over 400 horses to out-of-state equine facilities, but we are concerned about the possibility of the grounds being sold for development. I am encouraged by our initial meeting with the owners’ representative of Showplace Farms as well as local and state officials to find a way to protect this land.”

The two legislators held an initial meeting last Friday to discuss and formulate an action plan to preserve Showplace Farms’ prime real estate frontage on Route 33 from the threat of development.

Dancer and Clifton were joined by Howard Schoor, representing the owners of Showplace Farms, and officials from the state, county and local levels, including: Patricia Butch (Monmouth County Agricultural Development Committee); Nancy Grbelja (Monmouth County Save The Horse Committee); and Amanda Brockwell (Monmouth Conservation Foundation). The Monmouth Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, will assist to facilitate the preservation process.

“I am encouraged by the support and concern expressed by the stakeholders we met last Friday,” said Clifton. “We all agree that finding a solution that protects the beauty of Showplace Farms and maintains its rural nature is what we’d like to achieve. Assemblyman Dancer and I understand the importance of this issue to the community and will do everything we can to assist in preserving this as open space.”

The stakeholders will meet again this Wednesday, August 19.


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